Upon watching this teaser trailer, I got the vibe that this was going to be almost like a modern Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I’m going to save you Buffy fans the trouble and say that this isn’t the show you’ve been waiting for to satiate your Buffy cravings. This is a very different show, but not to fear, this really is quite a solid show. This is like iZombie, American Horror Story and Riverdale had a baby. Kinda weird? That just scrapes the surface.
Before I get to my thoughts, I’ll give you a brief summary of what the show is about:
Sabrina is a 15 year old faced with, you know, a choice that we as teen girls have all had to make. Does she sign her life over to the Dark Lord on her 16th birthday and succumb to the witch life? Does she move forward with her mortal life, leaving the witch in her behind? What’s a girl to do?! *cue spooky music*
Onward, to my thoughts!
Things I Liked:
The music was absolutely spot on. It perfectly accented a lot of the more intense scenes with even more energy. Take a look at this Spotify playlist for most of the soundtrack. My absolute favorite (which sadly has not released on Spotify) has to be Vctry’s version of “Black Magic Woman”:
2. The Writing
Much of the writing of this show is quite excellent and I am super picky when it comes to that. Most of the time when I peace out of a show, it is because the writing is garbage (I’m looking at you, The Walking Dead #Sorrynotsorry #Learntowrite #IWillNeverForgiveYouForAbraham.) My thoughts on that are for another post entirely. I’m talking Sabrina here! The great thing about the writing is they don’t let the scenes linger. Some shows never get this right; they either linger in a dramatic moment too long or they cut it off before you have time to actually process it happened. This show balances that perfectly. The plot lines are also easy to digest—and even easier to invest yourself in—and that makes this show so hella binge-able. I love a good binge watch show, especially a wonderfully written one.
3. The Character Development of Sabrina
I was a little apprehensive of Kiernan Shipka’s portrayal as our leading lady Sabrina, but she ends up being the fire that the show needs. She doesn’t hold back when it comes to the ones she loves. In episode 10, we see Sabrina go full fire-in-her-eyes ala Katniss Everdeen and it’s pretty damn intense. I won’t spoil the whole scene for you; however, we see the cute little blonde girl from episode 1 transition into this total white haired badass (above picture). I’m all for it. I cannot wait to see her character develop even more.
4. Ambrose Spellman
Ambrose Spellman is under-utilized as a whole in the show which I think is both a good and bad thing. You never want too much of a side character (*cough* Captain Jack Sparrow anyone? *cough*). He’s a mysterious little background character, almost reminding me of a low-key Lafayette from True Blood. I am excited to see what they do with his character in coming episodes!
Things I Disliked:
1. The Title Sequence
If you know me or follow my writing at all, you’ll know how much I adore a good title sequence. Go here to see a list of my favorites. The title sequence for this show is almost like a poor man’s iZombie title sequence.
I don’t feel it accurately portrays the tone of the show whatsoever. It has a “comic book” feel, but I feel it lacks actual flavor. I will pass.
2. Sabrina and Harvey’s Relationship
5 episodes in, and I thought their relationship was truly vomit-inducing. This may stem from the fact that I was not a fan of Ross Lynch’s portrayal of Harvey Kinkle; however, I am not really buying it. We were thrown right in the middle of these two kids apparently being in love without any type of real development of it beforehand. Let’s get some development of how Sabrina and Harvey came to be and maybe I’ll understand why I need to gag every time they speak to each other. The next 5 episodes show us some development of their love; however, I am still hesitant. I will reserve full judgement and hope they do more next season.
3. The Weakness of Man
Even though I greatly enjoyed the writing in the show, a recurring theme throughout the episodes bothered me quite a bit. This theme was the constant digs at men. Whether it was men being the butt of the joke or just men being shown as legitimately weak, it runs rampant in this show. At the risk of sounding like I am on a soap box here, not all men are weak and while “girl power” is certainly a theme in this show, these two ideas poison the well if tied together, in my opinion.
4. The Blurry Fish Eye Camera Lens
Probably one of the most obnoxious things about this show is its use of this effect that blurs the edges of the frame. It turned (well that and the heavy saturation of the shots) what could have been a really nice scene between Sabrina and Harvey into that really awful scene from Twilight where Edward confesses he’s a vampire. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t listen to most of what they said in this scene because I kept envisioning the scene entirely differently:
Sabrina looks all brooding and pouty, staring venomously at Harvey. The shots around them are fast and super edgy because we are a hipster director but are trying to not seem too hipster. All of a sudden, Harvey opens his mouth and utters,
“I’m a half witch!”
Witch please. Luckily, the use of the blur effect is lessened as the show progresses. Here’s hoping they ditch it entirely next season.
I enjoyed this little quirky show a lot. It has its really amazingly powerful moments and it certainly has its cringe-worthy ones, but you should definitely check it out. You won’t be disappointed.